To be addicted means to devote or surrender oneself to something habitually or obsessively. It could be gambling, taking a substance, pornography, or anything that makes a person become obsessive and find it very difficult to leave, or anything that becomes indispensable. Addiction is the state or quality of being addicted, a compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance, such as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol, characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal. It is also the persistent, compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be very harmful.
In order for listeners to fully understand what addiction is all about, we need to mention a few issues that will enable them to understand the subject. When people hear the word addiction, the first thing that comes to mind is perhaps an addicted person, a person who takes drugs. This is not necessarily so. To understand what addiction really is, the key points we are going to highlight will enable listeners to see how addiction hijacks and controls the brain.
When an individual craves something intensively, and it becomes obvious that the person has lost control over the use of that thing and continues to involve himself or herself with it to the extent that the usage becomes detrimental or has adverse effects, yet the user continues to indulge in it, that is addiction. The resultant effect of addiction is it a change in the brain. Like a python hunting its prey, addiction catches and strangulates the brain before beginning to swallow it. Addiction affects the brain by first destabilizing the way it records pleasure, and thereafter it corrupts other natural or normal drives, like learning and motivation. That is why you see some crimes committed by those who are under the influence of hard drugs or alcohol.